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What To Know About Taxes and Retirement

Retirement. No more workday grind. No more being a slave to the clock. No more having to worry so much about taxes. Just a second. What was that about taxes? Sorry, but it’s not true. A lot of people go into retirement thinking keeping track of taxes practically disappears. The reality is dealing with taxes may actually get more complicated. In fact, taxes can be a retiree’s biggest budget item. How could taxes possibly get more complicated? Situations vary, but let’s take a simple example. In your working life, odds are you’ve got income from essentially one source—your job. Taxes were taken from your paycheck and you didn’t think about it. Every April, you file a few fairly similar forms and there you go. In retirement, however income streams vary—social security, retirement plan payouts, post-retirement jobs, etc. And there are taxes along the path of enjoying that income. While you…

What You Should Think About When Thinking About Retiring

A Gallup Poll in 2016 reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans worried they did not have enough money for retirement. With other polls showing the retirement age is rising and more data showing Americans should expect to retire even later in life than previous generations, what effect does that have on your future plans? Check Your Savings and Create a Budget It seems to be an obvious first question: Do you have enough money socked away in savings? A majority of pre-retirees probably don’t have enough in savings if they wanted to quit working tomorrow. Life expectancies are growing, yes, but many Americans simply don’t save enough of their income to begin with. Savings should be at least 10 percent, if not more. For whatever reason, and it’s not always for reasons we can control, people tend to save less. How do you know if you’ve saved enough? And what…

Self-Employed Retirement Options Your Future Self Will Love

You’ve hustled your heart out and now you’re your own boss. With estimates that over 25 million Americans were engaged in entrepreneurship in 2016, this is becoming a reality for many. There are definite perks: pursuing your passion, setting your own hours and maybe even working from home in your pajamas. But there is one thing that many people might miss from a traditional 9-to-5 job—a retirement package that comes free from guesswork. While it may be a bit more complicated when you are your own boss, planning for retirement is possible when you are self-employed. Any entrepreneur who wakes up excited for their work may not think much about the retirement part. However, effective retirement planning is important for self-employed individuals. Not only can it set you up for financial freedom in your golden years, it can lead to some major tax advantages now. Choosing the right plan is…

Steps to Take to Retire Early

Early retirement has always been a dream of many people, but some are taking solid steps today to ensure an early retirement. Why work until you are 65 or 70 years old when you might be able to retire at 50 or even younger? Follow these steps to get on track for an early retirement. Save Aggressively To retire early, you will need money to support yourself and possibly your family, for the rest of your life. Social Security doesn’t kick in until you reach the government mandated 62 years old. You need a nest egg to live on. Experts agree that most people should save 10 percent to 15 percent of their gross income every payday to maintain the same standard of living in retirement. If you are retire early, you have fewer years to save. In this case, you should work to increase your savings to 50 percent or…

7 Bad Money Habits That Can Ruin Your Finances

Habits can make or break our personal finance success. While good habits can help you build savings and live without financial stress, bad money habits can turn into a downward spiral of debt, fees and struggles. Making some small adjustments to your financial habits is easier than you may realize. Break these seven bad money habits to put yourself on track to a happy financial life. Making Only the Minimum Payment When you get a loan statement in the mail, whether it is from a credit card, mortgage or student loan, you can quickly find your minimum payment for the next month. The key word here is “minimum.” Paying only the minimum payment means you pay the maximum possible interest over the life of the loan. Every dollar you pay early saves you on interest every single month for the remainder of the loan’s life. The more you pay sooner…

Setting up and Optimizing 401k Contributions at Work

Is 2017 the year you set up a 401k plan?  A 401(k) is a financial plan set up for your future. The idea is that contributions made to 401(k) plans now can pay off later when you’re ready to retire. If you’ve never had a 401(k) before, it may seem a tad overwhelming to review and digest all the benefits and rules that come with setting up and maintaining an account. To make it simpler to comprehend and easier to get started, here is a basic, step-by-step guide with a few helpful tips. Review and Select a 401(k) Plan How does a 401(k) plan work with an employer? If your company offers a 401(k) option, most likely they will pre-select a plan (or plans) for you to choose from. Your human resources director and/or 401(k) provider will schedule an enrollment day where they will walk through the plan with the company…

2015 and Your Retirement

Here’s what the experts are saying about the 2015 economy – and four ways that it could directly impact your retirement. Long story short, 2015 looks like it could be a very good year from a fiscal perspective. According to the financial forecasters at Kiplinger, the U.S. economy appears to have recovered: Unemployment levels have dropped to just 6.1 percent, and inflation is in check. Wall Street is doing spectacularly well and appears to be headed for more growth in the New Year. Spending on recreation and other consumer services is likely to increase as incomes rise, pushing growth over the 3 percent mark by the end of the year. Healthcare spending looks like it will pick up as consumers and providers get used to the new rules, while spending on utilities should stabilize once energy prices stop falling. On the legislative side, 2015 will bring certain changes to Social…